Show 122, May 16, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host.

It’s always time for great barbecue. Last Saturday (May 9th.) the Queen Mary hosted their 4th annual West Coast BBQ Classic (WCBC) which featured over 60 different SoCal-based champion grill masters and BBQ teams competing for the coveted title of West Coast’s Best BBQ along with cash prizes. The Grand Champion of chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket, Sterling Ball, of Big Poppa Smokers joins us.

Our other resident wine authority is Managing Partner Tristen Beamon of The Wine Exchange in Santa Ana. One of the world’s greatest wine-producing regions, according to the experts, is Bordeaux located in Southwestern France. The region’s fame dates back over 2,000 years to the time of the Romans. Tristen is with us to provide the 411 on the coveted wines from this stellar region and why they are significant to serious collectors. He has just returned from the area which he is quite well-traveled in.

Executive Chef Deborah Schneider’s new cookbook is Salsas and Moles – Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More. Chef Deborah is the executive chef/partner of SOL Cocina in Newport Beach and Scottsdale, Arizona (and soon to be in Playa Vista), and solita in Huntington Beach and Santa Clarita. Chef Deb is our guest talking about America’s new favorite condiment, salsa.

Imagine a country where East and West are beautifully intertwined in the cuisine and culture and where its treasured cooking secrets are just waiting to be discovered. Welcome to Azerbaijan. In Pomegranates & Saffron – A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan, Feride Buyuran takes the reader on a delightful culinary journey through this beautiful land in the Caucasus. Interspersed throughout the text are fascinating glimpses of local culture and traditional proverbs related to food that will make the adventure even more memorable. Author Feride Buyuran is our guest.

The Jewish deli business is not an easy one. After being offered a management position with an existing but failing Northridge, CA deli, Ron Peskin found himself with a new title – owner. The deli’s proprietor was abandoning ship, and he proposed that Peskin should be the one to keep it afloat. Not only did the deli come with all the necessary equipment and a staff of 11, it also came with a substantial amount of bad debt. The year was 1969 and, ironically, Ron and his wife Patricia also had a son named Brent so they changed everything but the name! With little money, a handful of employees and a single delivery truck, the Peskins were determined to make Brent’s Deli a success. The hard work paid off. A second, larger, Brent’s was added in Westlake Village 10 years ago. Today Brent’s consistently remains the highest rated deli in Southern California year-after-year serving thousands of meals every day.

Be sure to catch Chef Andrew Gruel Thursday nights (new time) on his new restaurant makeover series on FYI, “Say it to My Face.” The fresh episode encores throughout the week on FYI. Check your local listings.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Play

Show 122, May 16, 2015: Marc Hernandez, Partner, Brent’s Delicatessen & Restaurant

Marc HernandezThe Jewish deli business is surely not an easy one. Food and labor costs are high and the hours are long.

After being offered a management position with an existing but failing Northridge, CA deli, Ron Peskin found himself with a new title – owner. The deli’s proprietor was abandoning ship, and he proposed that Peskin should be the one to keep it afloat. Not only did the deli come with all the necessary equipment and a staff of 11, it also came with a substantial amount of bad debt. The year was 1969 and, ironically, Ron and his wife Patricia also had a son named Brent so they changed everything but the name! With little money, a handful of employees and a single delivery truck, the Peskins were determined to make Brent’s Deli a success.

Today, Brent’s Deli is still a family affair with Ron working side-by-side with son Brent, daughter and son-in-law Carie and Marc, and the recent third-generation addition of granddaughter Taylor, whose hands-on approach has catapulted Brent’s into an award-winning dining destination and catering business. Brent’s is frequented by loyal and new guests as well as celebrities and politicos who yearn for nothing more than authentic Jewish fare.

A second, larger, Brent’s was added in Westlake Village 10 years ago. Through the years Brent’s consistently remains the highest rated deli in Southern California year-after-year serving thousands of meals every day.

Play

May 16: Big Poppa Smokers, Wine Exchange, Deborah Schneider, Feride Buyuran, Brent’s Deli

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sterling Ball of Big Poppa Smokers
Segment Three: Tristen Beaman, Managing Partner, The Wine Exchange
Segment Four: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, SOL Mexican Cocina and solita Tacos & Margaritas Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, SOL Mexican Cocina and solita Tacos & Margaritas Part Two
Segment Six: Feride Buyuran, Pomegranates & Saffron – A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan
Segment Seven: Marc Hernandez, Partner, Brent’s Delicatessen & Restaurant Part One
Segment Eight: Marc Hernandez, Partner, Brent’s Delicatessen & Restaurant Part Two

Andrew GruelExecutive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host.

Now an enticing preview of Saturday’s fully-loaded show.

It’s always time for great barbecue. Last Saturday the Queen Mary hosted their 4th annual West Coast BBQ Classic (WCBC) which featured over 60 different SoCal-based champion grill masters and BBQ teams competing for the coveted title of West Coast’s Best BBQ along with cash prizes. The Grand Champion of chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket, Sterling Ball, of Big Poppa Smokers joins us.

Our other resident wine authority is Managing Partner Tristen Beamon of The Wine Exchange in Santa Ana. One of the world’s greatest wine-producing regions, according to the experts, is Bordeaux located in Southwestern France. The region’s fame dates back over 2,000 years to the time of the Romans. Tristen is with us to provide the 411 on the coveted wines from this stellar region and why they are significant to serious collectors. He has just returned from the area which he is quite well-traveled in.

Executive Chef Deborah Schneider’s new cookbook is Salsas and Moles – Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More. Chef Deborah is the executive chef/partner of SOL Cocina in Newport Beach and Scottsdale, Arizona (and soon to be in Playa Vista), and Solita in Huntington Beach and Santa Clarita. Chef Deb is our guest talking about America’s new favorite condiment, salsa.

Imagine a country where East and West are beautifully intertwined in the cuisine and culture and where its treasured cooking secrets are just waiting to be discovered. Welcome to Azerbaijan. In Pomegranates & Saffron – A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan, Feride Buyuran takes the reader on a delightful culinary journey through this beautiful land in the Caucasus. Interspersed throughout the text are fascinating glimpses of local culture and traditional proverbs related to food that will make the adventure even more memorable. Author Feride Buyuran is our guest.

The Jewish deli business is not an easy one. After being offered a management position with an existing but failing Northridge, CA deli, Ron Peskin found himself with a new title – owner. The deli’s proprietor was abandoning ship, and he proposed that Peskin should be the one to keep it afloat. Not only did the deli come with all the necessary equipment and a staff of 11, it also came with a substantial amount of bad debt. The year was 1969 and, ironically, Ron and his wife Patricia also had a son named Brent so they changed everything but the name! With little money, a handful of employees and a single delivery truck, the Peskins were determined to make Brent’s Deli a success. A second, larger, Brent’s was added in Westlake Village 10 years ago. Today Brent’s consistently remains the highest rated deli in Southern California year-after-year.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Sterling BallIt’s always a good time for classic regional barbecue. Last Saturday the Queen Mary hosted their 4th annual West Coast BBQ Classic (WCBC) which featured over 60 different SoCal-based champion grill masters and BBQ teams competing for the coveted title of West Coast’s Best BBQ along with cash prizes.

This BBQ competition is California-State-Certified and Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS)-sanctioned. The competition highlighted various grill styles from across the nation including slow-cooked hickory Texan and southern Memphis-style barbecue.

The Grand Champion of chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket, Sterling Ball, of Big Poppa Smokers in Newport Beach joins us. He was Number One overall with a 1st Place Finish in Chicken and a 3rd Place Finish in Brisket.

Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon of Best Wines OnlineOur other resident wine authority is Managing Partner Tristen Beamon of The Wine Exchange in Santa Ana. One of the world’s greatest wine-producing regions, according to the experts, is Bordeaux located in Southwestern France. The region’s fame dates back over 2,000 years to the time of the Romans.

Tristen is with us to provide the 411 on the coveted wines from this stellar region and why they are significant to serious collectors. He has just returned from the area which he is quite well-traveled in.

Tristen will explain the ins and outs of Bordeaux Futures and why a serious aficionado buys them. It’s not about wine snobbery…While in Bordeaux, Tristen tasted an extensive collection of the upcoming 2014 vintage. He’ll share his thoughts.

Deborah SchneiderExecutive Chef Deborah Schneider’s new cookbook is Salsas and Moles – Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More. Dubbed “the reigning queen of San Diego chefs” by Bon Appetit, Chef Schneider brings three decades of professional cooking experience and deep knowledge of Mexican cuisine to Salsa and Moles.

“It can be argued that salsa has surpassed ketchup as America’s favorite condiment, and my latest book, Salsa and Moles, presents authentic salsa and mole recipes that showcase the unique flavors of Mexico and beyond,” says Chef Schneider, who is a James Beard Award-nominated cookbook author. “We make more than 20 salsas fresh daily in our kitchen.”

Chef Deborah is the executive chef/partner of SOL Cocina in Newport Beach and Scottsdale, Arizona (and soon to be in Playa Vista), and solita in Huntington Beach and Santa Clarita. Chef Deb is our guest talking about America’s new favorite condiment, salsa.

Chef Deborah Schneider is the Executive Chef/Partner of SOL Cocina in Newport Beach, CA and Scottsdale, AZ, as well as solita in Huntington Beach and Santa Clarita. She is the author of The Mexican Slow Cooker; The James Beard Award-nominated Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta; Amor y Tacos; Baja! Cooking on the Edge, which was one of Food & Wine’s Best of the Best of 2006. She is also the co-author of Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of Latin Cooking.

Feride BuyuranImagine a country where East and West are beautifully intertwined in the cuisine and culture and where its treasured cooking secrets are just waiting to be discovered. Welcome to Azerbaijan.

In Pomegranates & Saffron – A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan, Feride Buyuran takes the reader on a delightful culinary journey through this beautiful land in the Caucasus. Interspersed throughout the text are fascinating glimpses of local culture and traditional proverbs related to food that will make the adventure even more memorable.

Explore 200 tempting recipes for appetizers and salads, soups and stews, pasta, meat, vegetable and egg dishes, breads, saffron rice pilafs, aromatic drinks and desserts. All the recipes are adapted for preparation in a Western kitchen.

Feride Buyuran is the creator of AZcookbook.com, a popular food blog that features recipes and stories from Azerbaijan and beyond. Her passion for cooking and fond childhood memories led her to produce Pomegranates & Saffron, her first, about the cuisine of her homeland.

Author Feride Buyuran is our guest.

Marc HernandezThe Jewish deli business is surely not an easy one. Food and labor costs are high and the hours are long.

After being offered a management position with an existing but failing Northridge, CA deli, Ron Peskin found himself with a new title – owner. The deli’s proprietor was abandoning ship, and he proposed that Peskin should be the one to keep it afloat. Not only did the deli come with all the necessary equipment and a staff of 11, it also came with a substantial amount of bad debt. The year was 1969 and, ironically, Ron and his wife Patricia also had a son named Brent so they changed everything but the name! With little money, a handful of employees and a single delivery truck, the Peskins were determined to make Brent’s Deli a success.

Today, Brent’s Deli is still a family affair with Ron working side-by-side with son Brent, daughter and son-in-law Carie and Marc, and the recent third-generation addition of granddaughter Taylor, whose hands-on approach has catapulted Brent’s into an award-winning dining destination and catering business. Brent’s is frequented by loyal and new guests as well as celebrities and politicos who yearn for nothing more than authentic Jewish fare.

A second, larger, Brent’s was added in Westlake Village 10 years ago. Through the years Brent’s consistently remains the highest rated deli in Southern California year-after-year.

Ten charities have been selected by Brent’s Deli to be part of the award-winning restaurant’s first-ever Community Appreciation Day taking place on Wednesday, May 20 at both Brent’s Deli in Northridge and Brent’s Deli in Westlake Village.  The restaurant will donate 20-percent of its sales earned from that day to an array of public-nominated charities.

“We wanted our guests and the general public to tell us what charities serving the San Fernando and Conejo Valleys should be part of Community Appreciation Day,” said Marc Hernandez, one of Brent’s Deli’s partners and the son-in-law of Brent’s founder Ron Peskin. “The result was an overwhelming response and a better understanding of all the great work being done by non-profit groups right here in our own backyard.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Sterling Ball of Big Poppa Smokers
Segment Three: Tristen Beaman, Managing Partner, The Wine Exchange
Segment Four: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, SOL Mexican Cocina and solita Tacos & Margaritas Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, SOL Mexican Cocina and solita Tacos & Margaritas Part Two
Segment Six: Feride Buyuran, Pomegranates & Saffron – A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan
Segment Seven: Marc Hernandez, Partner, Brent’s Delicatessen & Restaurant Part One
Segment Eight: Marc Hernandez, Partner, Brent’s Delicatessen & Restaurant Part Two

Show 68, April 5, 2014: Show 68, April 5, 2014: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Inaugural Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition featuring the best of the OC’s chefs is coming. We’ll have the details on how you can attend.

Would you believe a stone flour mill in Pasadena? It’s a passion project for the two partners who are selling flour from grain sourced from local growers. That’s a great example of the locavore movement!

We last visited with Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm & Black Pig Meat Co. right before they opened their spacious new restaurant at The Barlow in Sebastopol (Sonoma County) last year. We have an update…

You can’t have a classic bar without gin. We have a fascinating tutorial from the local expert affiliated with the Museum of the American Cocktail.

The gateway to the Sonoma County Wine Country for foodies is Relish Culinary Tours located right off the town square in Healdsburg. They offer cooking classes, private parties, culinary tours and creative catering. We’ll hear about what’s on their menu for Spring & Summer.

A Los Angeles fine dining chef who has cooked at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in Century City is a deliman at heart. He’s about to open a Jewish deli in Downtown Los Angeles featuring his premium, house cured meats.

All of this and lots more incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Play

April 5: OC Baking Co., Grist & Toll, Duskie Estes, Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Relish Culinary Adventures, Micah Wexler

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

The Inaugural Grilled Cheese Festival & Competition featuring the best of the OC’s chefs is coming. We’ll have the details on how you can attend.

Would you believe a stone flour mill in Pasadena? It’s a passion project for the two partners who are selling flour from grain sourced from local growers. That’s a great example of the locavore movement!

We last visited with Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm & Black Pig Meat Co. right before they opened their spacious new restaurant at The Barlow in Sebastopol (Sonoma County) last year. We have an update…

You can’t have a classic bar without gin. We have a fascinating tutorial from the local expert affiliated with the Museum of the American Cocktail.

The gateway to the Sonoma County Wine Country for foodies is Relish Culinary Tours located right off the town square in Healdsburg. They offer cooking classes, private parties, culinary tours and creative catering. We’ll hear about what’s on their menu for Spring & Summer.

A Los Angeles fine dining chef who has cooked at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in Century City is a deliman at heart. He’s about to open a Jewish deli in Downtown Los Angeles featuring his premium, house cured meats.

All of this and lots more incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

The Big Cheese Grilled Cheese CompetitionIn celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April, OC Baking Co. and Provisions Market in Orange will join forces to host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s first grilled cheese festival and competition. OC Baking Co. Master Baker Dean Kim will supply locally produced freshly baked bread to top OC chefs competing for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 14th from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at Provisions Market in Orange.

“The Chef community in Orange County is a tight knit one with many talented individuals I’m proud to call my friends,” commented Chef Greg Daniels, who oversees the kitchens at Haven Gastropub in Orange and Pasadena, as well as taco asylum in Costa Mesa. “Grilled Cheese is something we can all relate to and, thanks to OC Baking Co.’s support, this event is a way for us to get together for a lighthearted competition.”

Nan KohlerSerious home baker Nan Kohler and her business partner (Marti Noxon) have recently opened (December) Grist & Toll, an Urban flour mill in Pasadena. They are selling flour milled on the site from grain sourced from local growers.

The attractive blond wood stone mill from Austria is visible through a window and is the real star of the show.

They sell flour to home bakers as well as select restaurants including Union Restaurant in Pasadena.

Baking classes are on the way.

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmWhen we first met Sonoma County-based Chef Duskie Estes last Spring when she was about to move Zazu Kitchen + Farm from Santa Rosa into an incredible space at The Barlow in Sebastopol. It’s now located on the grounds of a long-closed Gravenstein apple processing facility. Some of the tin clad warehouse buildings remain and have been artfully repurposed. The rest of the complex duplicates that rustic look.

Duskie and her husband, John Stewart, are the King & Queen of Porc from the Grand Cochon competition in 2011. They also operate the Black Pig Meat Co.

Most of the mains change nightly at Zazu. A signature starter is the “I (heart) Pigstrami. John cures the pork for this little sandwich served on artisan rye with sauerkraut and house-made Guinness mustard.

Saturday and Sunday brunch is a major attraction here. At brunch the “can’t miss” item is the “As seen on TV” maple glazed donut with bacon jimmies. Outrageous…

Also popular is the king + queen of pork bacon-in-the-batter waffle with bacon toffee and house-made espresso gelato.

Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonThe Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans) is kicking off their “Touring the Cocktail Series” in Los Angeles with Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the author of Gin: A Global History. She also is the food and cocktail columnist at LA Weekly. The provocative program is “A History of Gin in Five Cocktails.”

Gin is the undisputed king of cocktail spirits. Built upon a neutral spirit base, great gin is a symphony of juniper, spices, botanicals, and citrus.

Five signature gin cocktails will be available for sampling that evening. It’s set for Monday, April 7th at Dominick’s Restaurant in West Hollywood.

Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary AdventuresWhen it comes to providing the welcoming gateway for discriminating foodies to the Sonoma County Wine Country no one does it better than the hard-working Donna del Rey of Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg. Relish offers cooking classes, private parties, distinctive culinary tours, and creative catering.

Recently Donna and her crew provided support for the Artisan Cheese Festival.

For the ultimate experience they offer “Relish Sonoma County,” a 3-Day Culinary Adventure of Sonoma County.

Coming up on June 21st is a hands-on Culinary Birds cooking class with Chef John Ash.

Micah WexlerChef Micah Wexler was born and raised in Los Angeles and always had aspirations to be a chef. At age 15, Wexler’s first job was working with legendary Italian Chef, Gino Angelini, at Vincenti in Brentwood.

In 2011 Wexler opened Mezze Restaurant as Chef/Co-owner. Mezze was named one of the Top New Restaurants that year by Los Angeles Magazine and was one of Jonathan Gold’s Essential 99 restaurants.

Next month Wexler will open his newest concept, Wexler’s Deli, in Downtown Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Central Market. Wexler’s Deli aims to take the traditional deli back to its roots and provide a place of community, pride, familiarity, and quality.

The menu will feature traditional favorites of corned beef, pastrami, salmon, and sturgeon, all cured and smoked in-house. All condiments will be house-made.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Master Baker Dean Kim, OC Baking Co
Segment Three: Nan Kohler, Managing Partner, Grist & Toll – An Urban Flour Mill
Segment Four: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, The Barlow
Segment Five: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History
Segment Six: Donna del Rey, Relish Culinary Adventurers, Healdsburg, CA
Segment Seven: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part One
Segment Eight: Chef Micah Wexler, Wexler’s Deli, Grand Central Market, Part Two

Show 28, May 11, 2013: Chef Vic Vegas, chef/proprietor of Vic’s restaurant in Anthem, NV, a suburb of Henderson

Vic VegasIf you saw Season 5 of Food Network’s “Food Network Star” then you surely know Chef Vic Vegas. You’d think he was a native of Brooklyn but it was actually Staten Island. He grew up loving his Mother’s authentic Italian-American cooking and mastered her recipes. From there Las Vegas called and he steadily worked up the culinary ladder to the level of executive chef.

Vic’s is perched on a hilltop with panoramic views of Las Vegas seen through floor-to-ceiling windows. He likes to call it country club cool meets rock ‘n’ roll. It’s already a local scene for brunch on the weekends!

The menu is American comfort food with Vic’s distinctive flair. He appreciates Jewish deli food so in that spirit he created Knish Sliders made with grilled pastrami, melted Swiss cheese, on a potato stuffed roll and served with stone ground mustard.

How about a twist on Grandma’s meatloaf? Vic took that family recipe as the base then wrapped the meatloaf in a won-ton skin, deep fried to a golden crisp and served with pan gravy and ketchup aioli.

In the greater Las Vegas area Vic Vegas comes to you with “The Art of Catering by Vic Vegas.”

Play

Show 14, January 26, 2013: Helena Brown and Helen Springut, “this is not a pop-up.”

This is not a pop upHelena Brown (with front-of-the-house restaurant experience) and Helen Springut (with marketing and event management expertise) have joined forces to create “this is not a pop-up.”

Thursday through Sunday evenings at Square One Dining on Fountain Avenue in Los Angeles a visiting guest chef presents an original 5 course tasting menu for $50.00. Each chef is in the kitchen there for a week. Through Jan. 27th Food Network’s Adam Gertler is cooking his unconventional take on traditional Jewish deli fare.

Play